Katharine Quarmby’s sympathetic reportage paints a bleak picture of the lives of UK Gypsies and TravellersNoah Burton was a skilled restorer of antique cars and caravans who lived with his wife and family on a stud farm in the Midlands. When his marriage broke up after 20 years, he moved without planning permission to a field he owned, sparking what became a bitter battle with neighbours involving threats and intimidation. For Noah was also a Gypsy and, as he later commented: “I never ever realised how much hatred there is towards me.”This is nothing new. As Katharine Quarmby shows so clearly, there is a long and horrible history of hatred towards Gypsies and Travellers, from medieval days when they were killed, enslaved and branded in Britain to the slaughter of perhaps half of Europe’s Roma in the Holocaust. Their nomadic lifestyle arouses suspicion from settled communities, as remains all too apparent today, although I was amazed to learn that British state officials still wrested gypsy children from their parents in my lifetime.This powerful book is, in many ways, a natural progression from the author’s previous – and brilliantly pioneering – work on hate crimes towards people with disabilities, another marginalised …read more

Via: The Guardian | Books